How You Can Create a Home Office in Even the Smallest Spaces
Guest Blogger: Alice Robertson
When making the transition to working from home, it pays to have a quality work area. However, if you have a small living space, creating an office can often pose a challenge. Here are some ways you can get around that and make the workspace of your dreams.
Make Your Budget
It’s easy to go all out when creating an office, but it’s best to stick to a sensible budget. You may still need to spend a bit of time saving up money by trimming expenses like eating out or using premium cable, but you can also cut costs through DIY and shopping smart. So, hit up sales, second-hand shops, and find alternatives to office supply stores. When it comes to DIY, adapt what you have, and use websites like Pinterest for inspiration. By transforming common household goods and using discount stores to your advantage, you can minimize your costs.
Location, Location, Location
You want your new office to encourage productivity, so set up shop by a window if possible. Exposure to sunlight not only keeps us healthy, but it also improves our moods, which, in turn, can help us stay driven. Your choice of office may be limited, but ideally, you don't want to mix work with sleep. If you must use your bedroom, consider converting your closet into an office so you can shut away stress at night. In fact, all it might take is a shelf or two to increase storage, and a raised clothing bar so you can put your gear above your desk.
A dark room can demotivate us and even contribute to depression. To challenge this, as mentioned, try to be near natural light whenever possible. If you have small windows or have trouble bringing bright light, there are tricks you can use. As a start, add mirrors opposite to windows, or where light hits during the day, to reflect it. Similarly, use bright, uplifting colors on the walls, and avoid heavy curtains or thick blinds that block light. They are easy changes to make, and can positively impact your workday.
Pick the Right Furnishings
Being smart about your furniture can improve the functionality of your home office, and that means ensuring everything has a purpose that benefits you. For instance, a houseplant can offer a burst of color while simultaneously clearing the air of toxins, keeping stress down, and lowering fatigue. However, don’t stop there — look at how a built-in desk could save you space by fitting into any corner or crevice you have to work with. It might seem a little expensive to have one crafted for you, but it can be worthwhile if you have an unusually shaped room where a premade desk simply wouldn't be practical.
Get Creative with Storage
Of course, you can add shelving to expand storage, but this is an opportunity to flex your creativity to make an office without breaking your budget. Look at what items you have on hand and how you might transform them into something useful. After all, you can paint an oatmeal canister and turn it into an office supply holder. For important papers, you could use pegboards to display them while helping you to visually organize your thoughts. Likewise, collapsible fabric boxes can keep binders together, and clear plastic containers are stackable and easily labeled. Choose what works best for you, and adapt it to your home office.
With the right furniture, planning, and budget, you can make the office you need to be successful. It may take trial and error to find an arrangement that serves you, but your efforts can be rewarding. Your workspace may be the deciding factor in productivity, so take time to ensure it’s the best it can be.
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